Madden 13 Review Coming Soon

As it happens, EA Sports is allowing XBox Live and Playstation Network users to play their sports games early.  It is in this spirit that we are going to try and help you decide whether or not to buy or pre-order Madden 13.  You will still have ample time to make an informed decision before the game is released on August 28.

To call it a review is a misnomer – we will be featuring a series of reviews over the next few days that will cover everything from gameplay to specific modes and even the online experience.  If you have any questions or requests please post them in our comments section or hit us up on Twitter – @NoobTubeTV. 

Stay tuned to NoobTubeTV for reviews and updates on everything Madden 13 over the next few days.

For a full run-down of how we review games please check out our R.E.A.L.© Reviews  section for a description.

Click The Picture Below to Pre-Order Madden 13 from Amazon!

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There Is Some Purity When It Comes To Being A Noob – Never Let It Go

No matter what type of hobby or interest we have taken up at any point – we have always been noobs somewhere along the line.  Gaming is no different in this regard and some people like to demonize the idea of having a new player on their team as if it is something that will forever change their online persona.  Their Win/Loss ratio or Kill/Death ration might suffer because  a teammate is new to the game.  That is probably the most common complaint about noobs online.

Everyone has asked, “How do you throw grenades?” at some point or another.

Outside of the fact that people don’t want to have a noob on their team, there are also those that don’t like how noobs play the game.  In some cases like Call of Duty, Halo or any other First Person Shooter (FPS) there are certain ‘tactics’ that frustrate more seasoned players.  Some of these are (but not limited to) – camping, using ‘over-powered’ weapons and of-course weapons like the NoobTube.

Then you have games like Madden and NCAA Football that almost completely rely on the all powerful speed rating.  All you need are a couple WRs that have 99 SPD matched up against slower defenders and the game is over in the first quarter.  Granted, these games are more susceptible to exploits because of game design flaws or simply lacking ability to effectively counter the ‘go deep’ approach.  The fact of the matter is that if you are new to a game and you are learning the ropes you should take comfort in knowing that everyone has been there before.  But shooter games are really the bigger target for what a noob or the teammate of a noob goes through and Call of Duty games are probably the most popular.

Call of Duty is a blazingly fast game that really revolves around twitchy movements and dedication to learning the nuances of the game itself.  Once you learn the basics, it becomes a relatively easy game to play.  You aren’t guaranteed to be the best in the world if you play all the time; but like anything else – you will get better.

Which is why one of the biggest problems with non-noobs (especially those in Call of Duty) are some of the worst when it comes to being respectful to new players.  The idea of ‘Prestiging’ is something that happened in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.  Basically, you are able to level up in Call of Duty and obtain new weapons and other equipment as a result of your time invested.  Now with Modern Warfare 3 there are 20 levels of prestiging and it has started to give some gamers out there a bit of a superiority complex.  They feel that anyone that hasn’t prestiged simply is not as skilled or knowledgeable of the game as they are.  Really, all prestiging means is that people have put in more time than others.  You can play Call of Duty for 8 hours a day three days a week and reach the top prestige level – even if you are terrible.

The catch is that you will get better because you are playing the game more and more.  Don’t think for a moment that because you are new to a game and struggling that you will never get it.  The people you are playing against were in that same place at some point or another – stick it out and get better at your favorite games.  Just don’t forget that when you get to the point where you aren’t a noob that there are thousands of other gamers out there that are in your old shoes and they need your help and advice… not vulgar language or sophomoric behavior.

Community Involvement Doesn’t Equal Community Development

In recent years EA Sports and some other publishers and game developers have started inviting select members of their hardcore gaming community and fanbase to come in and check out their game and give opinions and critiques as well as simply get a chance to play the game in its early build.  For the many people that don’t get a chance to visit places like EA Tiburon for Madden over the course of a game’s development cycle it is easy to think they might do a better job than those going down to Orlando.  There are a few things to consider before you let your mind run wild with envy if you aren’t among the invitees for Community Day (as they call it at EA).  As well, if you are among the lucky few – it will behoove you to pay attention as well.

Before we proceed, it is important to view one of the interactions from OperationSports.  This is between a non-Community Day participant and a Madden Community Day Participant –

Illustrator76 – “This was a great analogy sir, and I agree with what you’re saying. But I disagree with it as well, lol. Actually, I only disagree with the bolded part as it applies to Madden. I just feel like people need to remember why they are at the CD in the first place. Just because EA employees feed you, show you pictures of their kids, their peg leg, etc… that shouldn’t change your reason for being down there, or what you intend to say. Now, it may change HOW you say what you say, but it shouldn’t at all change WHAT you say.”

And the reply –

rgiles36 – “Just to offer a response, are you suggesting that people do forget the reason why they’re down there? And if so, what evidence is there that people go to Tiburon and don’t critique while in the studio?”

MY DIRECT RESPONSE

This is kind of a Catch-22 because there is no evidence that anyone can give that wasn’t there and the people that can give that evidence won’t likely speak freely about anything truly negative as it wouldn’t be beneficial if they wanted to keep getting a trip to Orlando.

I think it would be best practice for those that aren’t going to Community Day to remember that those invited are invited as guests and it is usually customary of a guest to show proper respect and gratitude toward their host(s).

If you go to someone’s house for dinner and the dinner tastes crappy – you (probably) wouldn’t stand up and yell “This tastes like sh*t!”.
However, if your guest stops eating after the first bite and says “This tastes like sh*t!” – you should feel slightly more inclined to either agree with them or give your two cents… otherwise, you hack down what you have been fed and you go home to a nice bottle of Pepto-Bismol.

MY MESSAGE FOR COMMUNITY DAY INVITEES AND PARTICIPANTS

You have to keep in mind that a majority of hardcore fans have no idea about what their favorite game is going to look, play or feel like until they pull it out of the DVD case on release day.  Chances are good that you will be criticized by an ignorant public because they believe that you have an inside track… because you do.  There is a certain level of responsibility that you have when it comes to being a sought-after member of the gaming community and you have to remember that while you have confidentiality clauses and other issues to worry about – you are still in a position of power among people in the community.

Also, as it is widely known among active members of the gaming community itself each person making the trip to Orlando must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that legally prevents them from divulging any information about the game or development of the game without prior approval of the studio/company.

Be that as it may, any person that is invited to a Community Day needs to remember that they were once among the commoners.  While there are rules they must follow, there is also a responsibility for them to be a conduit that other people in the community can utilize to further the overall mission – making the game better.  In my view, Community Day participants have done an excellent job over the last few years and their efforts are much appreciated.

THE BOTTOM LINE
The bottom line is that when you bring in anyone to critique your product you are trying to get some feelers for what could be tweaked.  If the people being invited to give advice or suggestions were better at developing the game than the actual employees they would probably have a job offer to work at the studio.  (Keep in mind, this has actually happened in some cases with EA Sports and Madden)

There is a vast difference between being asked for your opinion and being asked for your help on any project.  For the most part, when people are invited out of the community to check out a game (of any sort) it is in a capacity of giving opinions and feedback but not much else.

Going to a community day is like helping someone hang a picture.  The developers picked the spot on the wall, put the nail in and they standing there holding the picture and asking you, “Does this look straight?”.

It is good to remember that people like Josh Looman pay close attention to forums and Twitter when it comes to community suggestions. Not just those from Community Day.

IN CONCLUSION

The main message here is that you must understand that people invited to give suggestions at Community Day are not there as developers.  They are there strictly on the basis of being valued consultants (at most).  They give opinions and they give suggestions when they are asked.  They give feedback and might even take some notes in order to give a detailed list that is comparable to proof-reading.  However, in the end it is up to the developer to take these suggestions and use them or ignore them.

So, before you accuse Community Day participants of ‘not doing their job’ or tell non-participants to ‘provide evidence’ that you know they don’t have – remember that this entire process is in the spirit of consulting at most.

Camping Is Killing MW3

Modern Warfare 3 is suffering right now.  It is suffering under the weight of cowards and ‘try-hards’ that have one mission… Ruin FPS Multiplayer games for everyone.

The Downfall of FPS Gaming = Camping

You might know this practice better as Camping or Spawn Camping.  The problem that is starting to truly reach epic proportions can be noticed on almost any match of MW3 in Team Deathmatch or/especially Domination.

When a casual gamer or even a dedicated gamer wants to blow off some steam and shoot away for a few minutes that sense of relaxation can turn into a pulse pounding version of digital road rage.  It would be one thing if people were getting beat because of a great strategy, but the fact that MW3 and many other FPS titles have broken spawning and broken, socially maladjusted, pathetic neophytes at the controls it can make someone ask why they are playing the game in the first place.

We have spent a lot of time talking about gaming being a hobby and past-time that should be focused on relaxation and recreation.  Unfortunately, this is being taken away almost daily as gamers decide to consciously ruin the games they claim to enjoy for nothing more than selfish (useless) reasons.

If you think camping will help you ‘go pro’ because you will have a high kdr I am not sorry to say that you will be sorely mistaken when you go to play the people that have true skill and reflexes.

Dear Campers,

Please stop ruining the games you claim to love.

Love,

The People Moving On To RPGs

Da Bears Madden 12 Franchise Mode – Season 2 Highlights and Recap

As much as we like to talk about what we wish EA would put into Franchise Mode for Madden 13.  As much as we might even complain about the silly nature of some of the things that happen in Madden 12…  This game is almost addicting to the point that Madden 2005 was and that is a good thing if they continue to build from this solid base.

That said, this is how Season 2 panned out.

Amos High was drafted by the Bears in the first round out of Georgia Tech.  He was highly rated but still managed to fall to the Bears after they traded down.  That would prove to be their best decision yet…  Amos High went on a tear in the second half of the 2012 season and finished with 1900+ yards and 15 TDs rushing.  He would then bring home Offensive Rookie of the Year and League MVP (with RB of the Year as well).

To go along with this amazing season – Jay Cutler won QB of the Year, Mike Williams won WR of the year and Henry Melton won DLineman of the Year!

The Bears have tremendous talent on their team and are built to win and contend for the Super Bowl.  The question isn’t if they can get there, because this is the second straight year they were within one game of the Super Bowl.  Both years we have seen Lovie Smith’s team get outclassed late in the game and that isn’t a good sign for the Chicago’s Head Coach.  It is widely speculated that 2013 might be his last if they don’t break this trend.

We will be posting recaps of the Draft and some of the off-season moves as well.

Some of the needs going into 2013 are –

  1. #1 TE
  2. #2 CB
  3. #1 LG
  4. Future MLB (Urlacher is on the decline, but will retire a Chicago Bear…. No Question About That)
  5. Future RE (Julius Peppers is starting to age, albeit while still getting double-digit sacks at 33 years old, but the Bears need to be honest with themselves)
  6. #1 RG

Stay Tuned!  Updates Are Coming!

It’s Getting Hot In Here – Using Call of Duty MW3 ‘Heat Maps’

It doesn’t matter if you are new to MW3 or a veteran of many Team Death Matches.  There is something right under your digital nose that might be your ticket to a higher KdR (Kill:Death Ratio) and maybe even more victories.

This fantastic tool is located under the ‘Career’ Section in the section for ‘Recent Matches’.

We are working on a feature that focuses on using maps more effectively and it will prove to be extremely useful for you.

An example of the Heat Map?

The brighter the spot on the map, the more shots were fired from that spot. This will often show you what we call the ‘Bottlenecks’ of a map. (This map is ‘Bootleg’)

You should notice as you compare your own heat maps and performance that there are many different factors that can determine your outcome on a regular basis… your weapon choice and class settings.  Until next time, take a few minutes to sign in to your MW3 Account on CallofDuty.com and let us know your favorite maps, spots to find enemies and even your preferred classes for each map.

Outpost is an interesting map because there are between 3 and 4 different bottlenecks that will change depending on how you or your opponents prefer to approach Team Deathmatch.

Happy Hunting!

Da Bears – Free Agent Pick-Ups (Off-Season 1)

The Bears were busy before the draft, trying to fill many of the holes left by departing players.

Among the Free Agents Signed –

WR, Harry Douglas (5 Years, $14.25 Million) – After getting burned by Douglas when the Bears faced him in 2011, they have signed one of the fastest Free Agent WRs around.  He will compete for reps with Johnny Knox.

DT, Amobi Okoye (5 Years, 21.67 Million) – He had an impressive year and has a lot of room to grow.  The Bears got a deal when he agreed to this contract.

MLB, PJ Walters (4 Years, $7.35 Million) – A tackling machine in college, he is hoping to learn a few things from future Hall of Famer, Brian Urlacher.

LG, Mike Setterstrom (5 Years, $11.91 Million) – More of a stop-gap LG for the Bears.  He has a history of good blocking ability but he might have reached his ceiling.

WR, Dane Sanzenbacher (5 Years, $8.51 Million) – The Bears aren’t too fond of many WRs in the draft and decided to go after this sure handed 3rd Down WR.

C, Mike Pollak (5 Years, $4.87 Million) – Another stop-gap O-Lineman?  The Bears hope he can provide some much needed support and leadership with a little better pass blocking.

ROLB, David Moch (4 Years, $2.75 Million) – Insane speed coming off the edge, he is very raw but could turn into a monster if the D-Line allows him to get around the edge.